Male urinary incontinence, or the inability to control the flow of urine, affects just about every aspect of a man’s life. This includes professional, personal and social aspects of everyday living. However, if you’re a man with this problem, there are some questions you can ask your doctor that may help you manage your condition quite effectively. Here are four important ones:
- What is causing my condition?
- Are there any medications that may help?
- How do I keep the groin area clean and free of rash?
- What about surgery?
It’s important for you to know what is causing your urinary incontinence. There are four major types of causes:
- Urge incontinence means that the bladder is overactive.
- Stress incontinence is caused by incomplete closure of the bladder sphincter.
- Overflow incontinence occurs when the urethra has a blockage or the bladder doesn’t contract properly.
- Functional incontinence can be caused by other diseases or medications.
For example, functional incontinence can be a result of diabetes. Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves involved with urinary flow control. Diabetes can also cause excessive production of urine, further contributing to the problem. Enlarged prostate in older men is also a common cause of this condition.
Lifestyle changes may help some men with this condition. These include drinking small amounts of water throughout the day instead of large amounts of water all at once. Another method involves training the bladder. You can ask your doctor how to do this. Your doctor can also advise you on Kegel exercises that will strengthen your pelvic floor.
In addition, get more exercise. Eliminate or reduce caffeine and alcohol. Both are bladder stimulants. If you smoke, stop.
There are some urinary incontinence medications that may help certain individuals. Your doctor will decide which one is best for you. Some have side effects and not all of them can be used by everyone. Always ask your doctor about possible side effects when he or she is prescribing a medication for you.
These drugs help calm the bladder. They work well for stress incontinence. One example is oxybutynin. The brand name is known as Ditropan.
- Alpha blockers
These help men with enlarged prostates. These work best for urge or overflow incontinence and can help men empty their bladders more completely. Tamsulosin, brand name Flomax, is an example of one of these types of medications.
This drug, known by the brand name Myrbetriq, relaxes the bladder and increases the amount of urine it can hold.
This substance can be injected into the bladder. It will relax the muscles.
You may find that you need to wear some type of absorbent underwear to help absorb urine. There are many different types. Many are quite discreet and fit well under clothing. However, these garments will create an ideal environment for the development of rash and jock itch. Both of these conditions like a moist, warm, airless area. Make sure you keep your groin area clean and dry. Change garments frequently. Never sit in a wet garment. There are incontinence products that you can purchase to help you with this type of hygiene.
Surgery for certain types of male incontinence is possible. However, it’s usually only done as a last resort. There are two main types of this kind of surgery:
- Sling procedure
AUS stands for Artificial Urinary Sphincter. In this procedure, a special type of balloon is placed around the neck of your bladder. This shuts off the flow of urine. When you need to empty your bladder, a valve placed under your skin will allow you to do so.
A sling procedure uses either an artificial material or tissue to make a type of pouch that supports the bladder neck, giving you greater control of your urinary flow.
Many men can avoid surgery through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and sanitary products. If you have problems with male urinary incontinence, you’re not alone. Don’t just live with it. You don’t have to. Use the information you learned here today and speak to your doctor. Help is available.